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Discussion Starter #1
I know many things can cause sway back.........some genetic, some a disease or something like that that causes it, some just have a slight one........but one thing i do not know about or really understand is the theory that if you ride them to hard when they are little, they get a swayback. I can kinda see the reasoning, but doesn't that mean that all thoroughbred race horses would have swayback because they are broken in mostly at 1 1/2 and raced at 2?
Thanks!
 

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I'm interested in knowing too... I did a search on the interwebs and basically all I got was that it was genetic and that horses that consistently travel hollowed out are distinctly more likely to get a swayback. I also read that certain breeds like Saddlebreds in particular are the most likely to get it...
But that doesn't explain why Lacey is getting a swayback because she consistently appears, to my untrained eye, to be using her back when she's going anywhere and I sure she was started around 3 or 4 (her previous owner was very into doing things the "right" way and Lacey was her baby for life) and most likely not ridden hard since she's still pretty green seeming. She was severely overweight for at least the last 5 years, maybe that had something to do with it?
I'm interested in the responses you get. =)
 

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I honestly believe that it depends on each individual horse. Some horses suffer from Lordosis (the disease that causes swayback), while others are lacking muscle from carrying themselves wrong. I think that if a horse is started very young and taught to carry themselves strung out and hollow, it will increase their odds for developing a sway. Some horses are kept overweight and not used enough so their muscles deteriorate and the spine becomes lax and hangs down. There are so many aspects and variables to take into account from each horse.

My horse Denny has a slight sway just behind his withers. I know his is from carrying himself wrong. I screwed up on his training and never taught him to collect up. He also always carried his head jacked up in the air. Couple that with the fact that I have been riding him bareback for years probably doesn't help.
 

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It has to do with horses joints and bones fusing together at a certain age. Their spines are one of the last to fuse, so when you start riding them too young, before the fusing occurs - you will aid in causing the effects down the road when they get older.
 

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A small correction, smrobs, not to offend... Lordosis is not actually a disease, but a medical term referring to the inward curve of a spinal column.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I knew most of that........ but wouldn't arabs always have sway backs then because they carry their heads high?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My horse Denny has a slight sway just behind his withers. I know his is from carrying himself wrong. I screwed up on his training and never taught him to collect up. He also always carried his head jacked up in the air. Couple that with the fact that I have been riding him bareback for years probably doesn't help.
^^ thats why. she said that his head was up and that may also be why.......also, what's a dry paper bag day?lol
 

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Arabians carry their heads high because they are missing a vertebra in their spine. That is why they do not make the "best" mounts for Mid to higher levels of Dressage.
 

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There's also a difference between traveling hollow and having a high headset. =) Lacey has a naturally high headset and imo she doesn't travel hollow. Atleast, I've never been told she's hollow... Haha
 

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There's also a difference between traveling hollow and having a high headset. =) Lacey has a naturally high headset and imo she doesn't travel hollow. Atleast, I've never been told she's hollow... Haha
A horses back will sag a little with age. That is what I have seen in pictures you have posted of your horse. She looks quite good for a 24 year old mare. Being overwieght and not ridden will cause some atrophy in the back and abdomin causing the "sway". I think more sway back horses are produced from overfeeding than from starting them too soon or riding them too hard. In fact I have seen very few horses that are ridden hard develop sway backs. Just like you don't see too many personal trainers with huge beer bellys. They use the muscles and keep them in shape.
 
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